The Boy And The Heron

Source: Toronto International Film Festival

‘The Boy And The Heron’

Elysian Film Group, Anonymous Content and Bleecker Street have jointly acquired the UK rights to The Boy And The Heron, the latest film from Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki, from sales agent Goodfellas.

Elysian Film Group will theatrically release the film in the UK later this year, following a screening at the BFI London Film Festival next month. The deal marks the first time US outfit Bleecker Street has directly invested in UK distribution and also marks its first-ever animated film.

The Studio Ghibli production opened in Japan this summer, proving a major box office success with $48m to date despite virtually no marketing, and last week received its international premiere as opening film of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It will also open the 71st San Sebastian International Film Festival on September 22. 

The Boy And The Heron is the first film from Miyazaki in a decade, since The Wind Rises in 2013, and is also likely the last from the veteran director of Spirited Away, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle.

The hand-drawn animation is based on an original story written by Miyazaki and is produced by Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki, with a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi.

The deal was negotiated by Nick Shumaker of Anonymous Content with Danny Perkins of Elysian Film Group and Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street, and Vincent Maraval and Eva Diederix of Goodfellas on behalf of the filmmakers.

The acquisition continues an ongoing collaboration between the companies. At TIFF last week, Bleecker Street acquired US rights to upcoming UK comedy Fackham Hall, which will begin shooting in early 2024, produced by Mews Films - a company run in partnership by Kris Thykier’s Archery Pictures and Danny Perkins’ Elysian Film Group - alongside Anonymous Content.